Patti Wenzel

You can support arts education at MPS

By - May 18th, 2010 04:00 am
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While the Milwaukee Public School Board of Directors struggles with budget cuts that threaten art, music and theater programming in its schools, a group of like-minded individuals are not sitting by and letting the programming go without a fight.

These people have formed a.r.t. (artists. rallying. together) and will hold a benefit concert this Saturday, May 22 to raise funds and bring awareness to the importance of arts education in schools.

Christina Ratatori, chairperson of a.r.t., feels arts education is not simply for art’s sake. She explained that students are learning academics through art. “How did you learn your ABCs? With a song. We use songs to tell time and we have a song and dance to learn the continents,” she said, discussing how arts are used at Elm Creative Arts Elementary School.

In addition to bringing together artists from all mediums to raise funds and awareness for arts education, a.r.t. is also on advocacy group working on local, state and national art policies.

The benefit concert is being held at Café Centraal, on the corner of Kinnickinnic and Lincoln avenues, beginning at 9 p.m. Local musicians from The Delta Routine, Random Maxx, Fly Neurotic and Blue, Seriously. Attendees are being asked to make a $10 donation for the cause.

Money raised from the concert will help fund arts programs in public schools, specifically MPS. The current 2010-11 MPS budget proposal of $1.3 billion is down 2.5 percent from the current year. The cuts will include the loss of 260 teachers and reduce arts education throughout the district.

Even with District Superintendent William Andrekopoulus’s addition of $2.8 million to the district’s Talent Development Fund Program, which will pay for art, music and gym teachers from the central office, having arts teachers in each school full time will become a luxury and not the norm.

For more information on the a.r.t. benefit concert click here.

Categories: Classical

0 thoughts on “You can support arts education at MPS”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for writing this Patti! People need to get it through their heads that arts are just as important as math and science.

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